Alpla introduces carbon-neutral rPET

Helping customers to achieve sustainability goals

rPET flakes, the raw material used to make carbon-neutral rPET. Photo - Alpla

Global manufacturer of plastic packaging and recycling specialist Alpla Group is unveiling the carbon-neutral recycled PET, which, according to the company, is the world’s first of its kind. Austrian company Alpla switched its PET Recycling Team plants in Wöllersdorf, Austria, and Radomsko, Poland, to a mix of electricity from renewable sources to produce carbon-neutral rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate).

ALPLA Georg Laesser Head of Recycling
Georg Lässer, head of Recycling at Alpla

“This step has already had a big impact on the carbon footprint of our food-grade regranulate – according to the calculations, emissions are cut by up to 90% compared with virgin material. The feedback from the market regarding this further development has been very good,” explains Georg Lässer, head of Recycling at Alpla.

The company is now offering its customers carbon-neutral rPET based on the purchase of certificates. The remaining, unavoidable emissions relating, for example, to delivery of the input material to the plants, are then offset with carbon certificates. “The world’s first carbon-neutral regranulate can make a significant contribution to climate protection and highlight the value of used plastics,” says Lässer.

Carefully selected projects with a social background

Alpla has selected specific projects in cooperation with the climate neutrality alliance Klimaneutralitätsbündnis 2025 and the NGO Helioz. A reforestation project in Nicaragua is being supported. In China, traditional coal-fired stoves are being replaced with ovens run on biomass. These not only vastly reduce emissions but also prevent the health implications caused by harmful exhaust air. In Ethiopia, 5,000 household packages (modern stoves, vegetable seeds, seedlings, training) are financed. In regions in Asia and Africa, Alpla supports the organization Helioz, which provides solar devices that monitor water disinfection using PET bottles.

ALPLA Recycling Plant Radomsko Poland
Exterior view of the PET Recycling Team plant in Radomsko, Poland. Photo – Alpla

Recycling for climate protection

Based on life cycle assessments, packaging types containing a high proportion of recycled material have the least impact on the climate. With the carbon-neutral rPET, Alpla is helping its customers to achieve their sustainability goals. “We are once again demonstrating that close collaboration between packaging developers, packaging manufacturers and recycling experts can lead to solutions which set an example for the industry as a whole,” Lässer concludes.

Product portfolio, carbon-neutral rPET includes rPET CL 80PC carbon-neutral, clear rPET (IV 0.85); rPET CL 80M carbon-neutral, clear rPET (IV 0.82); rPET BL 80 carbon-neutral, blue rPET (IV 0.80); and rPET GR 80 carbon-neutral, green rPET (IV 0.80)

Alpla is one of the leading companies involved in plastic packaging. Around 20,800 employees worldwide produce custom-made packaging systems, bottles, caps, and molded parts at 181 sites across 46 countries. The high-quality packaging is used in various areas, including food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning agents, pharmaceutical products, engine oils, and lubricants.

Alpla operates its recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Poland, and Spain, and the form of joint ventures in Mexico and Germany. By signing the New Plastics Economy’s Global Commitment in October 2018, Alpla pledged to achieve specific goals by 2025. All packaging solutions are to be fully recyclable, and the volume of recycled materials is to increase to 25% of the total materials used. A sum of 50 million euros has been earmarked for Alpla’s expansion of its recycling activities.

Alpla in India

ALPLA India began its journey in 2006. The regional headquarters are located in Hyderabad. India has grown rapidly and operates in a total of 9 manufacturing plants located in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Pune, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Assam.

Recently Alpla took over the plant for rigid plastics from the global packaging specialist Amcor with effect from 28 September 2020. With this takeover, Alpla is expanding its core business in the PET area in India. The plant in Alandi, West India, is in the immediate vicinity of the metropolis of Pune. It manufactures preforms for the production of PET bottles for the beverage industry. The customers include Coca-Cola and the Indian dairy company Amul.

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